Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk spoke recently at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s annual Restoration Weekend, held November 10-13, 2022 at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, AZ.
Don’t miss his electrifying speech below:
Charlie Kirk: Thank you, everybody, great to be here. Thank you. Welcome to Arizona. I live here, so this wasn’t that long of a commute, a lot easier than Palm Beach, I have to say. So if I’m a little bit imprecise in my remarks, I apologize. We have slept about 5 hours in the last couple of days because we are actually in El Salvador right now because of the way we do elections around here in Maricopa County, if you haven’t seen. And we have hundreds of volunteers, and right when I’m done, I’m going right back there, making sure that these criminals are not going to steal this election from Kari Lake here in Arizona.
And I’ll tell you there, I’m going to walk through the whole midterm update and give some context from my perspective. We have a couple of arms at Turning Point; we have Turning Point PAC, Turning Point Action and Turning Point USA. Turning Point USA is all of our student work, our education work, but we have a political arm that really has been ramped up, and we have some really fun successes to share in that regard.
So you’re here in Arizona, let’s start in Arizona. This is the railhead. You are right here in the battleground of where the future of the American Republic will be decided, right here. And the media has been so unbelievably dishonest, and the way that they’re doing this ballot operation here in Arizona, I’ll walk you through why it’s the case. It is beyond third world tactics. They’re now talking about maybe they’ll have the ballots halfway done by Monday or by Tuesday.
I’m going to tell you one of the reasons why it’s this case, it’s actually some good news. But Kari Lake is the new Governor of Arizona, okay. The ballots are there, it’s going to happen. Kari Lake is going to be governor and Kari Lake got no support from national groups. She was on television here for over 30 years. She is Ron DeSantis of the West. If you’ve seen her on television, she’s charismatic, she’s articulate, she’s conservative. They poured in money against her like you wouldn’t believe. She had to defeat the McCain mob here because we’ve had a lot of very moderate politicians for years; and then of course, defeat the Secretary of State who’s administering her election right now, as they’re trying to count the ballots for this.
And so Blake Masters is in the fight for his life. There’s a chance Blake Masters could win by 10,000 to 20,000 votes. I’ll literally know in the next 30 minutes how he’s standing. There are still 685,000 ballots yet to be counted in Arizona, 685,000, and 410,000 here in the state of Maricopa. But we have eyes on all the cameras; we’re finally getting an idea of what’s going on in the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. But one of the reasons that this is such a disorganized mess should actually give you a lot of hope.
So Oregon, Washington, Colorado, they’re horror shows, right? We thought that the Colorado governor’s race was going to be close this cycle — 17-point blowout in the Democrats. Oregon, unfortunately, that governor’s race, I don’t think is going to materialize for us. Washington, the same way, right? Oregon has not elected a statewide Republican outside of, I think, of a Secretary of State in the last 20 years. Why? Vote by mail. Vote by mail was one of the worst things ever done, universal vote-by-mail. Now, George Soros understood this in the early 2000s, and he saw the American West as an entry point to try to get people to basically adopt vote-by-mail. So he saw Arizona as a prime opportunity to do this. This is a story most people don’t know.
So back in the early 2000s, Arizona went almost to universal vote-by-mail. And they had these voting centers that you could still vote on Election Day because some people were complaining, what if I wanted to vote the way I used to? And very small percentages of people would actually go and vote on Election Day in Arizona. Most people would get ballots sent to them and they would drop them off or mail them back in.
Now what happened — this is so amazing — is that after, of course, the 2020 election, we saw all the shenanigans, 2,000 mules, mule operation, all of that, is that the people of Arizona said, wait a second, I don’t have to put up with this anymore. And so basically, the reason why it’s taking so long to count the ballots is because they’ve set up this vote-by-mail system where all these votes are supposed to be canvased before. And basically Arizona said, you know what, no, we’re not going to do vote-by-mail anymore. So over 800,000 people decided no longer to vote-by-mail in the traditional way and show up with their ballot on Election Day or vote in person, and it completely overwhelmed the system. That’s the free spirit of Arizona.
You want to know how we destroy vote-by-mail? You just don’t put up with it. You say, is there another way to do it? This is a very, very interesting thing where they tried to force-feed vote-by-mail here in Arizona. And because of the freedom-loving, liberty-loving tradition of Arizona, we’re going to end vote-by-mail universally here in Arizona, which is a very, very big deal — [Applause] — because that that’s a turnaround. Vote-by-mail will make your state a Democrat state, okay?
So let me kind of tell you my midterm diagnosis. First and foremost, let’s go back to July. In July, there was the Dobbs decision; obviously, the reversal of Roe versus Wade. A lot of the experts said that Republicans would be lucky to hold onto the House and maybe hold onto the Senate, low chances with the Senate. So over the summer, we were outspent 4:1 in almost every single race. I’m sure we have some people here that are in Georgia or Pennsylvania. I know we have our Wisconsin delegation there. We were swarmed and outspent in almost every single state. That did make a difference.
Now, with all of that being said, we did a show a couple days ago warning that there very well might be a hidden Dobbs vote, and a hidden kind of person very worried about the issue of abortion and vote. Boy, was that the case, especially in a lot of these upper Midwest states. There was not a red wave, there wasn’t. It was a good night for Republicans. We are going to retire Nancy Pelosi, that’s a phenomenal thing. That’s awesome. [Applause]. And by the way, if it was not for the State of New York — anyone from New York here by the way?
Audience Member: Yes.
Charlie Kirk: New York literally handed the House of Representatives to Republicans. If it was not for Lee Zeldin running a competitive governor’s race, and if it was not for New York — [Applause] — and by the way, three districts in California that have yet to be called that will be called, we’re probably going to win the House by about 4 or 5 seats, just so we’re clear, if we’re lucky, okay? The people on television were telling you 50 seats, okay?
Now, one of the reasons this is the case is because your Republican Party was not involved in the map fights in a lot of these states. They did not go and they did not draw good maps and especially in states like North Carolina and Ohio. Anyone from Ohio? Ohio did an awful job of their maps, just absolutely terrible. Michigan, Illinois, not much we could do about it. Hilariously, in New York though, the Democrats tried to create such a bad map for Republicans, it was the worst map ever, that a judge then threw it out and redrew the maps, which then actually probably handed the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi.
But here’s another takeaway just nationally and more macro, and I’ll get off the House in a second, which is the Republican establishment failed all of us. The Republican establishment spent money on bad candidates in races unnecessarily, and abandoned MAGA America First Nationalist Conservative candidates that could have won all across the country. Thankfully though, one candidate slipped through the cracks, a Turning Point alumni, an incredibly articulate, charismatic and smart young Hispanic woman in Pinellas County and Hillsborough County, Anna Paulina, who had $20 million spent against her, out-of-state money, and no support from Congressional Leadership Fund. Anna Paulina has won and she’s going to be a congresswoman. And that’s a flip, by the way, a retiring Democrat plus Republican. [Applause]. And so she knocked on 50,000 doors; Turning Point PAC, we spent a bunch of money on her race. That’s a candidate that they should have went all-in on.
But remember, Republican leadership, they count votes, they don’t count seats. Remember that. They would rather be in the minority of people that are loyal to them than in the majority of people they can’t control. And then you’re sitting right here in a state that was the most winnable senate race. Mitch McConnell spent no money in this state, zero. And there was a trade done where Mitch McConnell basically went to Chuck Schumer and they said, okay, you don’t spend money in North Carolina and we get Ted Budd, and you don’t spend money in Arizona because I don’t like that Blake Masters guy.
Blake Masters, if he gets elected — and there is a chance — because again, there’s still 600,000-plus ballots to count here. And Blake Masters is down about 90,000 votes and so he has to win about 59% of the remaining votes, and that is possible. It’s very doable considering our strongest precincts and our strongest voting centers have yet to report here. He’s with no air support. Blake Masters was outspent $111 million to $20 million here in the State of Arizona. And probably if he loses, he’ll lose by like 10,000 votes.
Where is the Republican establishment sending their money? $9 million to go help Lisa Murkowski against an amazing candidate, Kelly Tshibaka. That’s where Mitch McConnell was sending — and by the way, I hate to break it to you, many of you were probably unknowingly giving money to Mitch McConnell through Win Red and all these other mechanisms. Just so we’re clear, they disguise the funnels that the money goes through. You’ve got to be very careful how you give money politically, okay?
Mitch McConnell spent a ton of money in the New Hampshire primary to try to lower the name ID of Don Bolduc. There’s a lot of these races, you look around and you say, what were we thinking here? Again, the Republican establishment, they want to try to prevent the amount of Josh Hawleys, the amount of Rand Pauls and Mike Lees and the real fighters in the U.S. Senate.
And so where is the Senate right now? Boy, you got a coin? Someone flip it right now. That’s Nevada, it’s looking good in Nevada. But we’re waiting to kind of see what Clark County is going to do. If you think your county is corrupt, you should go to Clark County, that is Mafioso central. Harry Reid built his whole political operation there. Basically, they say there’s 50,000 ballots remaining in Clark County and Adam Laxalt is up 17,000 votes. And so some of those ballots are actually going to be okay to us, but I would not be shocked — and I don’t want to be cynical, I don’t want to be too negative — I would not be shocked if they just find another 6,000 ballots from culinary unions there. I still think though if you’ve got a coin flip, Adam Laxalt is right there to flip Cortez Masto. It’s so unbelievably close in Nevada; it is razor razor razor razor-thin.
Okay. Then to Georgia, Georgia’s going to a runoff, as if we haven’t had enough politics, but don’t be surprised if that runoff does not go our way, if we can’t get our act together, the Republican establishment’s going to parachute all their consultants in. They’re going to try to package Herschel Walker who, if you have ever been around Herschel, he’s one of the funniest, most articulate, amazing guys, and they’re afraid of that. They should just let Herschel be Herschel and he’ll win that runoff by 5 points. They’re trying to control him too much. But honestly, if the Republican establishment does what they do, then that’s not going to go well.
And so that’s the Senate right there. So it kind of comes down to Blake Masters, comes down to Adam Laxalt in Nevada, and we lost a very winnable senate race in Pennsylvania to someone who’s brain-dead. And we didn’t just lose it, we lost it by a lot, okay? Now there’s a lot of people out there — and we can get into this in question-and-answer if you want — that they say, well, how on earth did we lose Pennsylvania? They have mastered vote-by-mail and they have mastered ballot harvesting and mules. You say, well, it’s illegal, they figured it out. So it’s either we have to play the game — and not the illegal part, obviously. We’re going to have to get in the arena of what it looks like to actually compete in Pennsylvania or we’re never going to win statewide in that state ever again. They know the precincts, they know the doors, they know the apartment buildings they have to get to, to run up the score and obliterate us.
Now, some people I’m sure here are probably sick of Trump or whatever, but here’s what I’ll say. Donald Trump got 1.3 million other people to go vote for him in Pennsylvania that Dr. Oz could not. If Dr. Oz could have got 20% of those 1.3 million human beings, he’s a U.S. senator. And people say, well, who are these people that vote for Trump but don’t vote for other people? There’s 1.3 million of them in Pennsylvania actually. In fact, we have data to show that about a couple hundred thousand people who voted for Trump voted for Fetterman. You say, who is that? But they’re there, it exists. That’s a very real thing.
And so you might want to say, we got to get Trump out of here. Be very careful if you say that. The data shows you that there is this demographic of a voter that does not show up for other people, other big wins. One of the most amazing senate races that I’ve seen in quite some time, Senator Ron Johnson won in Wisconsin; that is a massive win, everybody. [Applause]. That is a massive, massive win. [Applause]. I was very disheartened that Michaels did not win that governor’s race and it’s just too bad. I think they made it as one issue about abortion and it just was really, really tough. But Ron Johnson, one of the best campaigners, one of the most courageous voices, they really wanted to get rid of Ron Johnson this cycle and he won a great race.
We kept Ohio. J.D. Vance is going to be a phenomenal senator, which is just a really, really great win, really thrilled about that — [Applause] — and then Ted Budd in North Carolina as well. Mike Lee was able to fend off some attempts to get rid of him in Utah, which was a really good thing. And I’m just doing this off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s a couple of other good ones that are stable there.
Some House races though to kind of look at. Joe Kent is going to win in Washington, which is great. Joe Kent’s one of the best candidates in the country. [Applause]. Unfortunately though, we lost some other really, really close ones. And I’m proud to report Lauren Boebert is going to survive in Colorado, thank goodness. [Applause]. But that should be a 10-point win, everybody, not a 500-vote win. That’s what it’s — it’s going to end up being like an 800-vote win in Colorado.
You have universal vote-by-mail, you lose all controls. And here’s the thing is that if you live in Colorado where you have universal vote-by-mail, there’s only one party that actually tries to do universal vote-by-mail and play the game, the Democrats. Republicans are like, we have to get rid of it; you’re never going to get rid of it in Colorado. I’m sorry, you’re not. So you either have to learn to use it or — Colorado is on pace to become more liberal than New York; I want you to think about that. Lee Zeldin will end up losing the governor’s race by 3 or 4 points when all ballots are done. The governor’s race, which was competitive with a great candidate in Colorado, is a 17-point margin right now. And so that’s what happens when — jaws are dropping, right? That’s when you have universal vote-by-mail.
Okay. I could go through other races as well, but I’ll be honest, the Midwest was the big disappointment of the night. We got slaughtered in Michigan. Illinois, my home state, just an absolute catastrophe. We did not win one competitive House race or district there. The governor’s race is not even close and the other House race — and Minnesota, the exact same thing. But I am proud to report in Iowa, the great State of Iowa, there are zero Democrats going to Washington D.C. from Iowa. They got rid of all of them. [Applause]. So that’s a great thing.
Now here’s the other thing though, is that there was a red wave in the sense that we are actually winning the congressional popular vote by 6 million votes. So 6 million more people voted for Republicans in House races than Democrats. You say, well, Charlie, why is that not materializing? Because your Republican establishment drew really bad maps, that’s why, because they didn’t get involved in a knife fight. And Mark Elias and Stacey Abrams, they were involved in the process and the plumbing of elections and I don’t know what our side was — they were involved in crony deals or whatever our side does, which is super-disappointing and a letdown.
So to recap all of that, Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker, which is great. [Applause]. That is a big win, that’s a takeaway. That means Fauci will have to answer for his actions; that means Merritt Garland will have to answer for his actions; that means Mayorkas will have to. That is a win, that is a win, that is a win. I don’t care if it’s by 2 seats or by 10 seats. And paradoxically — I know this might be a surprise to you — it’s actually a better thing for strong conservatives to have a narrow majority than a 40-seat majority.
I know that might be something that would be an unpopular argument, but let me tell you why. That means they will not be able to move an inch. They could get rid of the speaker in a second if every conservative in the Freedom Caucus unites their power together. That means committee assignments; that means Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, they’re going to be all on the top committees. Now, if the top Republicans, if we would’ve won the House by 40 or 50 seats, the RINOs, if you will, they could have told the strong conservatives to go away, we don’t need you. And they could have disenfranchised them with more moderates.
Now, I would’ve loved to have a little bit more of a cushion in case like I don’t know if a bus crashes the Democrats becoming — I hate to be so cruel and morbid, but when you’re talking about 2 seats, you’re talking about like 2 heartbeats away from the House majority slipping and I pray nothing like that happens. So I think we’re going to end up around 7 or 8, but you now are going to have more power for people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert and Anna Paulina. So that’s a really good takeaway, which is great. [Applause].
Now as far as the last thing, is we got to try to do our best to make sure the U.S. Senate doesn’t get into Democrat hands. I’m really afraid another Supreme Court seat is going to open up, it’s just the odds of it. And if that’s the case, we need to be able to say no on bad personnel because a 50/50 Senate does not help us in any way, shape or form.
Okay. So kind of tying that all together, and we could do some questions. I give it a 7 out of 10 night once everything is done here in Arizona. The Sunbelt delivered, the Sunbelt delivered in a very significant way. So you’re seeing a complete new realignment; it’s a different realignment than we would’ve thought. I thought the Midwest had a lot more decency and common sense and fight in them. With the crime, the inflation, it’s a disappointment be. There is no way to sugar-coat it.
If you look at Michigan, you look at Illinois, you look at Wisconsin, you look what’s happened there in Milwaukee, it’s a disappointment we did not win those governor’s races or get closer, okay? However, there is a big realignment, which is very exciting, which is people are fleeing Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, to places like Nevada, Arizona, Texas, parts of Georgia, but mostly Florida.
And I’ll close with Florida. My goodness, Ron DeSantis winning by 20 points — 20 points — that’s unbelievable. [Applause]. Florida is no longer a battleground state; Florida is now one of the most conservative states in the country. Florida is more structurally conservative than Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina and of course, North Carolina. That’s because of DeSantis’ leadership. That’s a well-run state party that could be replicated. Texas, despite all of the mumblings throughout the years that Texas is going blue, Texas is now more conservative than it was 6 years ago. That’s a very good sign, okay?
Arizona, Kari Lake is going to be governor. We’re going to fix this state. I’ll tell you what, I am 100% all in on this state. Remember when we grew up, we used to say, oh, whoever wins Ohio wins the presidency. Yes, that’s no longer the case. It’s now going to be whoever wins Arizona, wins the presidency, okay? I live here for a reason, that’s part of the reason because we need energy, enthusiasm, eyeballs on this state in more ways than one.
And then Nevada, Nevada is becoming this kind of Sunbelt state where you look at Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida, those four states all are trending in a good direction. You have people fleeing because of taxes, because of crime. It’s not ideal; I know you and I would’ve loved to have seen those Midwestern states kind of go back to how we grew up and knowing them. You got to deal the kind of hand — you got to deal with the hand you’re dealt. But there was a lot of positives out of election night, everybody, in a very, very significant way. A lot of ballots left to be counted.
Let’s do some questions. I could talk more about other topics if you want, but I’m getting a lot of vibes that you guys are interested in the election, which has kind of been my obsession the last couple weeks. Okay, we’ll go back there, yes, and if you guys have a question about any races or anything, I’d be happy to talk about that right
Audience Member: Right here, I just have a question. How can Manchin keep caucusing with the Democrats when Biden says he is going to kill coal and stop drilling, and consider getting re-elected as a Democrat in West Virginia when the election comes up?
Charlie Kirk: Yes, he is super-powerful right now because he does caucus with the Democrats and that’s a good question. But he is ideologically a Democrat, right? He voted for 87,000 new IRS agents; he voted against border wall funding. He’s not a Republican, but that’s a good point. And if my math is correctly, Manchin is up again in 2024. And Manchin might retire, which is a very, very winnable pickup for us and Manchin knows that. So Manchin is going to get whatever bridge, reservoir or public works project he wants from Chuck Schumer in the next couple of months, because we have a great Senate map coming in 2024. But boy, we got to make sure Mitch McConnell is no longer running the senate leadership. That is an unacceptable thing. Unacceptable. [Applause]. Yes?
Audience Member: So I live in Colorado and in Florida. Lauren Boebert is a friend and a supporter. I’ve been working with people in her district to make the Secretary of State abide by the state election laws. Is there anything else that you have in terms of advice for that? What do we do basically, and how do we get the mail-in ballot system to work for us?
Charlie Kirk: Yes, we’ve got to keep the pressure on, which is one part of it, and Lauren Boebert is going to win. I’m confident of that, just so we’re clear. And so you got to keep the pressure on. But look, if we were to get to a mail-in ballot system that — and by the way, the era of mail-in balloting in most states is here. We’re going to get rid of it here in Arizona because in Arizona, we have an extremely stubborn population here and it’s awesome. We got a lot of cowboy spirit, a lot of people that don’t like being told what to do. We saw it when 800,000 people rejected the mail-in ballot system in one day. That’s a promising thing for liberty and freedom.
I hate to say it, but Colorado took the mail-in balloting thing sitting down. For all the cowboy spirit in Colorado, not so much, they willfully accepted it. More than any other state in the country, Arizona took the data of 2,000 mules and actually did something about it. Let me put it that way, that there was 800,000 people that took that data and voted differently because of it. But look, we have to fill our precincts and this is something the Republican Party has intentionally not done.
We filled 1,900 precincts here in the State of Arizona through Turning Point Action and Turning Point PAC with our students. And a precinct is a local neighborhood captain. [Arlen], you know I’ve been talking about precincts forever and we did our job. And so a precinct person, a precinct captain, is in charge of 800 homes and they know which homes are Democrat, Democrats or Republicans. And so our Arizona Republican Party is in great shape and we work in harmony with them.
And basically, there’s a thing called the golden ticket, and you go knock on every door, the weekends leading up to the election, and you have face-to-face with that Republican voter; say, hey, here’s our endorsed ticket, I know you’re a Republican. And mainly they’re thankful because all the propositions, which are super-confusing, right, oh, thank you, these are the propositions on how I have to vote.
But we made face-to-face contact with 0.5 million hard Rs in Maricopa County, right? And a lot of them received mail-in ballots. And then we’re like, oh, how do you plan to vote? How do you plan to vote? And so this is one of the reasons why Kari Lake’s going to win, right? And this is why the national media, they’re so funny on television, they’re like, oh, I don’t know if Kari Lake has this, because usually the later ballots favorite Democrats. It’s like, okay, hold on a second. Wait, that’s a weird thing for you to say, how you know later ballots favor Democrats. (Laughter). But it’s kind of weird, right, but there’s 290,000 people, including my family that voted this way, that got a mail-in ballot, and then took a special field trip to the voting processing center 20 minutes out of their way to make sure they saw a human being actually process that ballot. That’s a very unusual thing.
The media’s like, well, who would do that? 290,000 people that want to stop voting by mail would do that. And so those are, by the way, 3:1 Republicans almost. But then making — finding out, hey, how do you plan to vote? And it’s just face-to-face contact. Now in Lauren Boebert’s district, your district is literally bigger than like five states. It’s like the western half of Colorado, it’s a monster. But there is no reason why that race should be competitive. You got the western slope; it should be a 10-point win, in my opinion.
So all right, next question.
Audience Member: Thanks. Historically, for whatever reason, the party that is not in power in the White House picks up seats during the midterms. So this whole notion that, oh, we did really well because we picked up seats, that’s supposed to happen anyway. Not to be a downer, but what is the average number of seats we pick up?
Charlie Kirk: 18, and we way underperformed. I’ll tell you the facts. Biden will go down as the most successful midterm president except George W. Bush and it’s a fact, it’s not impossible. Your maps are terrible; your Republican Party drew really bad maps. It’s just the way it is, and you have a Republican establishment that was serenading you with red wave promises and they drafted bad candidates. And the state parties that work, we won our congressional seats here in Arizona. The three we needed to win, Juan Ciscomani, Eli Crane, we won our (indiscernible). In Florida, they won their seats with Mills and Anna Paulina, okay? But in other states, it was a swing and a miss; Michigan a swing and a miss. My goodness, it wasn’t even close. Illinois, you know that when we used to control the House of Representatives back in 2010, there were more Republican congressmen in Illinois than Democrat congressmen in Illinois? They’re on pace to have three Republican congressmen. But I’ve got to give a credit. Without Lee Zeldin and his surge in New York and the Democrats drawing these awful maps, there is no House majority.
And so look — and I will go to this again — is that there was a Dobbs surge of people that were propagandized with the abortion messaging, and they came up in numbers. There is a misleading narrative like, oh, Gen Z voted a certain way. Look, we’re doing our work at Turning Point. First of all, millennials, this is the buried lead. Millennials are only voting by Democrats by 2 points. Millennials, they were D plus-42 10 years ago, okay? So we made about a 40-point gain with millennials, okay, 40 points, that’s a very big deal. [Applause].
Now Gen Z is D plus-28, but again, it used to be they’re 10 points less liberal than millennials were at the same age, right? So yes, Gen Z did show up in some numbers. They were able to do some stuff on TikTok. The abortion messaging scared a lot of young women and that hurt us in a lot of states, it just did. And I had someone say, well, Charlie, it’s candidate quality. Yes, like John Fetterman; like you can’t tell me it’s about candidate quality, okay? (Laughter). It’s just you can’t, okay? There is a thing about the machinery and politics with vote-by-mail. This is what happens in Pennsylvania. Ballots go out in Pennsylvania on September 20. What does that mean? That means they have a 45-day window to just be able to go precinct-by-precinct, door-by-door, with very sophisticated technology and they know the doors they need to hit, they do. And we do not have that in the Republican Party. So you have this massive, sophisticated machinery on one side. You know what we do? We kind of be like, well, everyone show up on Election Day, hope it works. That’s us. Yes, sorry, Mike.
Male Speaker: This can be the last question.
Charlie Kirk: I can go a little over if you —
Audience Member: Charlie, first of all, we thank you for your hard work. Thank you.
Charlie Kirk: Thank you. [Applause]
Audience Member: Now we would like your opinion, sir. Who is the best candidate for the president —
Charlie Kirk: Yes, look, I get asked this all the time —
Audience Member: — Trump or DeSantis?
Charlie Kirk: Look, I’m a big fan of both. I’m going to be behind Trump because I’m a loyal guy and I gave him my word that if he ran in 2024, he would have my backing and my support. [Applause]. However, I don’t like the attacks on DeSantis. I told him — I gave him my advice and I recommended he stop it. You could see how successful I’ve been with that. [Applause]. Again, when people come up to me, they say, “Charlie, can you get Trump?” I always say no. It’s like that, I can’t, I have a 0% success rate, okay? And you want to know the other missing factor in this midterms is that Trump did not do a lot of rallies, and he had a $100 million in his bank account, in his super-PAC, that was not deployed. And that that’s a fact, is that — this was actually — it’s a pro-Trump argument of a critique of the midterms. I want to see Trump become president again, if he wanted to easily win the primary. In my opinion, he should have just went to every single state across the country and do favors for people and own the party, right?
And by the way, you want to talk about a missed opportunity? The Mar-a-Lago raid, I’ve never seen the base so angry after that and he just stopped talking about it. That Mar-a-Lago raid was the great abuse of the FBI invading the home of a former president. And it’s like we’re talking about Fetterman’s ability to talk, which actually hurt us. Actually, more people voted for Fetterman, the more we talked about his health. I know that’s crazy, but it’s just the facts actually bear out that.
So look, Trump’s going to run, and I think Pence is going to run, Pompeo’s going to run, Haley’s going to run. It’s not a coronation, Trump’s going to have to earn this. And if DeSantis runs, that’s going to be a big race. I’ll tell you two things. I think DeSantis would be a good president; I know Trump was a good president. However, Trump has some huge vulnerabilities. It’s not a good look when he attacks DeSantis, people don’t like it. DeSantis is very popular, he’s doing a great job, and it looks almost like the elder is attacking the student. It looks like the older generation is smashed, it’s not good. I don’t think it looks good, it does not look magnanimous. In fact, it looks petty. I don’t think it’s good, okay, number one.
Number two, people do not like the people Trump surrounds himself with, okay? DeSantis could attack him on personnel. And number three, the glaring thing is that there is a ton of base anxiety with how Trump handled Covid, there is. People are very upset with Fauci, with the vaccine stuff, with all of that. And so you got a race there if DeSantis decides to run. Mike, can I take one more? Is that okay? Is that okay if I take one more?
Male Speaker: Take one more, okay, yes.
Charlie Kirk: Okay.
Audience Member: Yes, so we’ve heard about the election. What about the long-term left strategy for getting rid of the filibuster in (inaudible) states, packing the court, getting rid of the Electoral College? And is anybody — are you thinking about new leadership at the RNC (inaudible) on some of these long-term problems?
Charlie Kirk: Yes, that’s not my job. I wish someone would take that on. We have Tyler on our team who’s obsessed with that. Look, it’s long past time. We have to — the Republican Party establishment top to bottom, failed all of you from candidate selection to where they put their money, and from maps to legal strategy, all that. So let me answer the question. Here’s the good news about what just happened. Puerto Rico and D.C. are not going to be made a state in this session. That’s a really good thing. They’re not going to get rid of the Electoral College, they’re not going to pass H.R.1; all that stuff is done. Thankfully, we can put that to bed. That alone is worth the House majority, and that alone is worth you guys celebrating the next couple days.
The fact I don’t have to be worrying about 87,000 new IRS agents or worrying about — we are going to have that because that was already in the law. The point is defense, this has allowed a firewall where all these wacky ideas of Green New Deal, that’s all done thankfully. What is not going to happen though is that I would’ve loved us to get the 54, 55 senate seats, which I believe would’ve been possible if we would’ve drafted the right candidates and if we would’ve deployed our money.
And by the way, you say if we would’ve gotten rid of Murkowski with Tshibaka, that’s like picking up a Republican by the way, okay, because she’s a Democrat on every single vote except for leader. And yet McConnell decided to spend $9 million of precious resources in Alaska; and by the way, $9 million in Alaska is like $90 million in Pennsylvania, okay? They don’t even have a media market, right? You go there to buy TV ads, they’re like, you want the whole station? Like for 9 million, you could buy the TV station, the radio station, and the newspaper. And like $9 million in ads, where do you even put that money? So look, we need new leadership top to bottom, and I hope some people rise up.
So let me kind of summarize in this. I want to thank David Horowitz. [Applause]. David Horowitz, I’ve got to just say this. I meant to do this at the beginning, but Turning Point USA would not be the monster, the machine, that it is without David Horowitz or David Horowitz Freedom Center, period. We would not have the impact, we wouldn’t have the friends, we wouldn’t have the support. David is the only — I wish David could run the RNC. I should tweet that out, David for RNC chair, right? That would be really popular. You know why? David is the least territorial person in American politics. He does not care if people come to his events. In fact, he wants them to. All these other people, they’re like, oh, who are you talking to? And this is my donor, it’s like what? David is always a team player, he wants to see people succeed. He’s a fighter. That’s the legacy of David Horowitz Freedom Center.
If you look at it, you look at Candace, you look at James O’Keefe, you look at Turning Point USA, you have these massive machines now that are out there that are actually taking terrain against the left. That all started in this gathering of Restoration Weekend. That’s a really beautiful and profound thing and it’s very, very rare. And David taught me the importance of us fighting the left on its own terms. And if you could tie that into the election news, it’s like if we listen to David — and I don’t even know what Republicans ran on this cycle except not being Democrats, right? You have the most evil political party out there that I don’t think a lot of our candidates went and brought the fight to them. And that’s what voters would’ve wanted is us to punch back twice as hard against these people. Some candidates did like Kari Lake, which is why she’s going to win, and like Ron DeSantis, which is why he won by 20 points. [Applause].
And so anyway, I want to thank all of you that have supported us throughout the years, truly. And is it tomorrow, is that right? Tomorrow there is an optional opportunity, if you guys want to take a tour down to our office; it’s not an office unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It really is a battle station where you see the sophistication, where you see the depth. You could go see the Burke Freedom Center, you can go see the Burke Fighting Center over there. You’ll see what we’re doing politically on college campuses; you’ll see what we’re doing with student body presidents, with high school and college chapters, what we’re doing digitally, what we’re doing on Twitter, what we’re doing on TikTok. You’ll see our studios, you’ll see the whole thing. It’s literally 15 minutes down the street. I think there’s buses provided, if I’m not mistaken, right?
And I encourage you guys to see it for yourself because I guarantee you this, if you are looking to leave this weekend with hope, when you walk into our offices and you see that kind of sophistication, you will leave with hope. But know, every one of you that have supported us, that have gotten behind us, thank you. America’s a freer place because of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. That’s a big deal. [Applause].
And we would be in the oblivion without David and this great group. Honored to be with you here, guys, tonight. I got to go count votes, or make sure they’re counting votes correctly. Thank you, guys.